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Burlington Northern Railroad
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Here we take a tour of the Burlington Northern Railroad from its 1970 merging of its four components right up to the time before merger with the Santa Fe Railway. Sample freight schedules, passenger schedules, diesel rosters will be among the materials featured.

1970 Profile of the Burlington Northern Railroad

Mileage: 23,609

Locomotives: 1973

Passenger Cars: 1171

Freight Cars: 116,491

Company Service Cars: 8256

Major Terminals: Chicago (Cicero),Galesburg,Northtown(TwinCities),Denver,Pasco, Spokane,Yakima,Seattle,Portland,Fort Worth-Dallas.
The Burlington Northern Railroad was formed on March 1,1970 as a result of the merging of the Chicago,Burlington &Quincy,Great Northern,Northern Pacific,Spokane,Portland and Seattle and Pacific Coast railroads into a single railroad that blanketed much of the northwestertn United States. At this time,the California Zephyr passenger train was in its final weeks as a through service operation to and from Oakland,California as Western Pacific was to drop its portion 3 weeks later. Other fine passenger trains that the four major railroads brought to the merger were The Empire Builder,Western Star,North Coast Limited,Main Streeter,Denver Zephyr, Twin Zephyrs,and of course, the tripartite California Zephyr. Of these trains, the Empire Builder,Denver Zephyr, all made it to Amtrak on May 1,1971, though the North Coast Limited wasn't among them at first. This train was brought back as the North Coast Hiawatha,since the Chicago-Twin Cities portion of the route was via the Milwaukee Road instead of BN between those points even though BN equipment continued to be used.
The passenger services of what had been four railroads were contained in a single system timetable with a cascade green cover. This was issued on April 26,1970. The second and last BN system passenger timetable was issued October 25,1970. With a map on the cover, this timetable was just as attractive as the earlier edition. More on the passenger and commuter operations later. On the freight side of the coin, schedules and blockings of trains were revised as were the routes travelled by some trains.

SCHEDULES,ROSTERS, AND OTHER INFORMATION. In this section, sample freight schedules, diesel rosters and other similar information will be found. To get the train rolling down the tracks we shall begin with a few 1981 sample freight schedules.







Table1A.Chicago-Seattle-Pasco-Portland Westbound







Stations 85 97 57 197 83

Chicago L 2110 0230 ---- 1430 ---

GalesburgL ----- --- 2000 ---- ----

Minneapolis 0925 ---- ---- ---- ----

Minneapolis 1425 ----- ---- ----- 2200

Jamestown,ND 2320 ------ ---- ---- -----

Billings,MT 1420 ----- ---- ---- -----

Laurel 1450 ----- ---- ---- -----

Laurel 1745 ----- ---- ---- -----

Missoula 1115 ----- ---- ---- ----

Minot,ND ---- 0545 0300 1515 1600

Minot,ND ---- 0945 ----- 2230 2330

Spokane,WA 2030 ---- ----- ---- 1830

Wenatchee ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

Everette ---- 1925 ---- ---- ----

Seattle ---- 2040 ----- ---- ----

Pasco 0315 ----- ----- 1230 0330

Portland ---- ----- ----- 2359 ----

Tacoma ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

TABLE 1b Seattle-Portland-Spokane-Minneapolis-Chicago

Stations 82 182 88 84 86

Tacoma L ---- ---- 0002 ----- ---

Seattle L 2230 ---- 0600 ---- ----

Everett 2330 ---- 0730 ---- ----

Wenatchee 0515 ---- 1430 ---- ----

Hoquiam ----- 0530 ----- ----- ----

Yakima ---- ---- ----- ---- ----

Pasco A ----- 0030 ---- ---- ----

Pasco L ---- 0700 ---- ---- ----

Spokane ---- 1145 2200 1600 ----

Missoula ----- ---- ---- 2220 2330

Laurel ---- ---- ---- ---- 1400

Billings ---- ---- ---- ---- 1500

Minneapolis A 0330 0450 2340 0125 2210

Minneapolis L 0915 1000 ---- ---- ----

Chicago A 2245 2330 ---- ---- ----

Table 2. TOFC Service- Westbound

Stations 33......3.....23......43

Chicago ----....1400..2330...-----

Minneapolis ----....0045..----...----

Spokane A ----....1005 1945 -----

Spokane L 1120....1105..2115...2045

Seattle A ----....2145..----...0745

Portland A ----....----..0645...----

Table 2B. Eastbound TOFC Service

Stations............4.......PBF/182

Portland L.......----.......1800

Seattle L.......1930......-----

Spokane A.......----......1115

Spokane L.......----......1145

Minneapolis A.....----......0450

Chicago A.......1500......2330

These were just a few of the several hundred freight trains operating each day throughout the Burlington Northern system. All trains handled TOFC traffic as well as carload traffic, except those trains designated as TOFC/COFC only.

PASSENGER SCHEDULES OF BN COMPONENTS.

Table3.Great Northern Condensed 1969 Schedule for Nos31 and 32 THE EMPIRE BUILDER and Nos.27 and 28 THE WESTERN STAR.



27.......31.......Stations........32..........28

----- 1300...Lv Chicago..Ar....1455........-----

-----..2000...Ar St.Paul..Lv....0810........-----

0830...2035...Lv St.Paul..Ar....0710........1830

0855...2100...Ar Minneapolis.Lv.0635........1800

0905...2105...Lv Minneapolis.Ar.0630........1750

1045...2238...Ar Willmar.....Lv.0430........1610

1050...2240...Lv Willmar.....Ar.0425........1605

1335...0117...Ar Fargo,ND....Lv.0100........1310

1350...0130...Lv Fargo,ND....Ar.0050........1300

1935...0500...Ar Minot,ND....Lv.2105........0710

1950...0510...Lv Minot,ND....Ar.2050........0655

2205...0725...Ar Williston...Lv.1835........0425

2120...0635...Lv Williston...Ar.1725........0315

0240...1135...Ar Havre,MT....Lv.1220........2100

0300...1150...Lv Havre,MT....Ar.1205........2040

0900...1800...Ar White Fish..Lv.0610........1430

0910...1805...Lv White Fish..Ar.0600........1420

1415...2315...Ar Spokane,WA..Lv.2310........0716

1500...2345...Lv Spokane,WA..Ar.2240........0615

1830...0310...Ar Wenatchee...Lv.1918........0220

1840...0320...Lv Wenatchee...Ar.1910........0205

2300...0745...Ar Seattle,WA..Lv.1500........2200



Table4A.BURLINGTON ROUTE.Chicago to Denver. 1969 Timetable

Westbound Service.

Stations.........11.....17.......1........3

Chicago Lv.....1100..1440.....1735....2115

Galesburg Ar....1355..1710.....2008....0030

Galesburg Lv....1405..1712.....2010....0050

Ottumwa,IA Ar...1608..1909.....2204....0308

Ottumwa,IA Lv...1612..1916.....2206....0328

Creston....Ar...1756..2048.....2345....0523

Creston....Lv...1756..2048.....2345....0523

Omaha,NE...Ar...2000..2245.....0129....0745

Omaha,NE...Lv...----..2305.....0139....0815

Lincoln....Ar...----..0005.....0239....0915

Lincoln....Lv...----..0020.....0304....----

Hastings...Ar...----..0158.....0440....----

Hastings...Lv...----..0208.....0448....----

McCook.....Ar...----..0425.....0645....----

McCook.....Lv...----..0448.....0549....----

Denver,CO..Ar...----..0800.....0800....----

Table4B. Denver to Chicago

Stations.......2..........18........12........4

Denver....Lv.1500.......1920......------....----

McCook....Ar.1830.......2313......------....----

McCook....Lv.1934.......0022......-----.....----

Hastings..Ar.2142.......0235......-----.....----

Hastings..Lv.2148.......0244......-----.....----

Lincoln...Ar.2305.......0424......-----.....----

Lincoln...Lv.2329.......0434......-----.....1830

Omaha.....Ar.0026.......0534......-----.....1930

Omaha.....Lv.0036.......0554......1210......1955

Creston...Ar.0220.......0740......1400......2159

Creston...Lv.0220.......0740......1400......2159

Ottumwa...Ar.0358.......0918......1545......2340

Ottumwa...Lv.0400.......0920......1550......2340

Galesburg Ar.0559.......1124......1800......0205

Galesburg Lv.0602.......1126......1830......0225

Chicago...ar.0850.......1405......2140......0530

Note: These schedules do not comprise all the service Burlington operated on this route,but just the principal trains going beyond Ottumwa,Iowa. They were issued 4-27-69.
BLOCKINGS FOR SOME OF THE TRAINS SHOWN HERE:
Train 3, High priority freight was blocked as follows:
CHICAGO
1.Everett, CL (fill)
2.Carload (Fill)
3.Portland, TCF
4.Seattle, TCF
5.Spokane,TCF
6.Fargo,TCF
7.Caboose
NORTHTOWN: Pick up on rear ahead of Group 4.
Grouping:
1.Spokane
2.Portland
3.Seattle
At Fargo: Set off Group 6.Yardley,Set off Spokane TCF,
Deliver Portland traffic to Train 33.
Grouping for Train No.4
1.Chicago and beyond, TOFC/COFC
1.Chicago TOFC/COFC
2.Caboose
Blocking data came from 1982 BN Freight Schedule book in my library.